When you think of blushing, chances are you will think of a small girl who got embarrassed or has a crush on a boy. While this is a fairly accurate image, there are adults who also blush uncontrollably. And it can be a real self-esteem issue. When someone is caught blushing it is perceived that they are embarrassed, and it can lead to teasing, ridicule and a feeling of extreme embarrassment. However, blushing is not as unusual as you might think, and even tough men can blush, whether they like it or not.
If you think that you have a blushing problem and are looking for a way to stop, then you have come to the right place. Blushing is psychological and cannot be helped. There is no blush button to make it start or turn it off – it is completely involuntary, and is triggered most often by stressors. It is more the association with blushing that most people dislike – it is seen as a sign of weakness, even though it is no more uncommon as sweating, sneezing or hiccoughing.
If you are trapped in a vicious cycle of an uncontrollable blushing, here is a strategy that you can use to manage the problem:-
Don’t try to stop it
Quite often you will be able to feel when a blush is starting – the tell-tale warmth of the cheeks and a burning feeling in the pit of your stomach will often follow. But the more you try to stop a blush, the worse it gets. Because blushing is a sign of embarrassment, being embarrassed by the blush will only make you blush more – thus increasing the problem. The worst thing you can do is try to stop a blush. It’s like trying to stop a sneeze once it sets on – it will only make it more obvious.
Blushing is subconscious
It is important to understand that blushing is completely subconscious, and just like the length of our eyelashes, we absolutely cannot control how much we blush. Imagine two people of same age and demographic. They both get equally embarrassed at an event or social situation. One blushes uncontrollably and the other looks cool, calm and collected. There is no physical difference between the two (besides the colour of their cheeks), and it is not a fact that the one not blushing is controlling the blush – it is simply that their body does not blush as visibly. Just like some people attract mosquitoes and others do not. There is no rhyme or reason, it is just the differences in people. But if you are a blusher by nature, there is good news. It can be controlled.
Finding the cause is only part of the solution.
You may think that by trying to find out WHY you blush you will be able to prevent it, however this very rarely if ever works. Simply knowing what causes a blush will only make your blush more pronounced because you will be more aware that it will start to happen. So if you know that when someone pays attention to you (whether it be in a romantic way or simply a shopkeeper talking to you) you start to blush, knowing this will not stop it. Because next time someone pays attention to you (your identified trigger), you will expect to blush, therefore your body thinks you want to blush. And so you will – worse than before. Which will make your embarrassment even worse (causing you to blush stronger). As you can see it is a vicious cycle. So if finding out why you are blushing is not the answer (the whole answer), what is?
Reverse the blush
We need to reverse the blush. The opposite of a blush is no blush, and that is exactly the result that we are after. Once we start blushing it is like a river – it cannot be easily controlled. So we need to be able to control and reverse the blush before it even begins. Basically, we blush when we are stressed, anxious, embarrassed or even feel shame. All negative emotions. And every emotion has an opposite. So if we blush when we feel stressed, we would not blush when we feel the opposite – relaxed. Same with embarrassment. If we blush when we are embarrassed, then we would not blush when we are confident and sure. This is not as easy as flicking a switch – simply being ‘confident’ and ‘relaxed’ is definitely easier said than done, however it is the only way to permanently stop the blushing, so it is worth a shot. And yes, it will not happen overnight but baby steps are better than no steps at all.
Preparation is key
The best way to prepare yourself to not blush in situations when you normally would, is to prepare yourself mentally. If you know that you are about to stand up in front of a group of people and speak, then mentally prepare yourself for what you are about to do. If you are prepared and sure about your speech and the crowd, then there should be no reason to be embarrassed. And if there is no reason to be embarrassed, then there is no reason to blush. While it is true that you do not get an opportunity to mentally prepare for everything every day, getting into the habit of preparing yourself to avoid embarrassing situations will help you reduce the blush. After a while you will find yourself blushing subconsciously less and less. Basically, you want to train yourself to be able to handle situations in a way other than flaming at the cheeks.
Embrace the blush
Completely removing the blush is unlikely (after all it is part of who you are), but controlling it is something that is possible. You do not want to never blush ever – it is natural and brings some colour and life into your face. There is a reason why women paint blush on their cheeks as part of their makeup routine – because it looks more natural to have some blush. So stop hating your blush, and embrace it. It makes you human after all.